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Soccer is the world’s most popular sport. Major League Soccer (MLS), the American take on a pro soccer league, has gained a significant following in North America in recent years.
Betting on soccer is also becoming more popular among sports enthusiasts, with the MLS being no exception. For the people thinking of staking their hard-earned cash, understanding how the odds and various types of bets work, and knowing how to place MLS bets is fundamental, which can be daunting for many.
That’s why, in this article, we will explore how to read soccer odds, how to bet on MLS matches, and take a look at some general betting tips for MLS bettors. Whether you are a seasoned punter or a newcomer to the world of soccer betting, this guide will provide valuable insights and help you make informed decisions when placing your bets on MLS.
Where MLS Stands in the World of Sports Betting
In a 2019 survey conducted in the United States, 21 percent of respondents who identified themselves as sports fans said they would bet on Major League Soccer (MLS). That may not be the highest of numbers, but it shows the interest circling around MLS betting, and it’s only growing over time.
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Types of Bets on MLS
There are numerous types of bets available to soccer bettors. Let’s take a look at some of the more common types of bets to get you started.
- Moneyline bets: The most basic and popular type of bet in soccer is the moneyline bet, also known as the match-winner bet. These bets simply require you to predict the team that will be the winner or whether the game will end in a draw.
- Over/under bets: Over/under is another popular type of bet in MLS betting, which involves predicting whether the total number of goals scored in the match will be above or below a certain number predetermined by the bookmaker.
- Handicap bets: When there’s a significant difference in strength between two teams in a match, a handicap is set to give the underdog an advantage. For a bet on the favorite to be successful, they must win by a minimum goal difference. Otherwise, bettors choosing the underdog win.
- Futures bets: These bets involve wagering on outcomes occurring later in the season, such as the MLS Cup winner, or the Golden Boot winner. These require punters to make long-term predictions, which can be exciting and challenging.
Bettors can also place prop bets, wagering on specific events within a match, such as the first team to score, the number of corners, or the number of cards given.
How to Read MLS Odds
Odds represent the likelihood of a particular outcome occurring in a match, and they are usually expressed in one of three formats: American, decimal, or fractional.
The odds are either a positive (indicating the underdog) or a negative number (indicating the favorite). If the odds are -150, for instance, you would need to wager $150 to earn $100 in profit. If the odds are +200, a wager of $100 would bring $200 in winnings.
Decimal odds are expressed as a single number. Multiply it by the wagered amount to find the total payout you will receive if your wager is successful.
Fractional odds display the profit you will receive in relation to your stake. For instance, if the odds are 3/1, you will win $3 for every $1 wagered.
How to Bet on MLS
Here’s a step-by-step process of MLS betting involving important steps to make sure you don’t miss out on any of them.
- Choose a reputable sportsbook: First, you need to find a sportsbook suited for you. Look for sportsbooks that are licensed and regulated. Compare them in a comparison site to choose the one with the best reputation and highest odds.
- Create an account on the sportsbook of your choice.
- Fund your account: Deposit money into your sportsbook account.
- Choose your bet: Go to the MLS section. Then choose the bet that you want to place and the amount you wish to wager.
- Confirm your bet, and you’re done.
Things to Avoid when Betting on MLS
- Betting with emotions: Everyone wants their favorite team to win, but betting without extensive research can lead to poor and dangerous decisions.
- Chasing losses: It can be tempting to try and recoup losses by placing even bigger bets, but this can lead to a dangerous cycle of chasing losses.
- Betting on every game: Expert bettors are selective with the games they bet on.
- Betting on unfamiliar teams: Do your research and only bet on teams that you are familiar with. Decisions based on incomplete information can be costly.
- Avoid betting under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
Things to Remember when Betting on MLS
- Research is key: Take the time to research the teams, players, and form. Know their playing style, strengths and weaknesses, as all these affect the outcome of the game.
- Bet within your limits: Bet within your budget. Betting on MLS should be fun, so never stake more than you can afford to lose.
- Keep track of your bets.
- Find the best odds: Different sportsbooks may offer different odds on the same game. So, shop around for the best odds and maximize your winnings.
- Don’t be affected by popular opinion.
- Consider the context: MLS games can be affected by various factors such as weather, injuries, home/away venues, or recent performance.